Opinions on faith and life

Ties That Bind

2012-02-29

There is something I think that needs to be emphasized and reinforced concerning something I wrote at the end of Deconstructing ’Bondage of the Will’: “Satan binds, but God frees. So whose teachings was Luther spreading?”

In my reading I’ve come across some extremely evil things, such as horrific experiments that most people think ended with the close of the death camps at the end of World War II. What struck me in reading some of the accounts of survivors is how they were told what evil, loathesome creatures they were, and that they needed the evil purged from them. In short, they were taught self-hatred. Is this teaching of self-hatred not what binds together many teachings today, even (especially?) in so-called Christianity?

In some cases, I suppose an excuse could be made for people overreacting to the other extreme of teaching that we are all gods, all good, everybody’s going to heaven, and so on (yet who could believe that, after reading about the evil some people do?). Yet this extreme is the stuff of cults and dictators; even our own government is programming us to hate our own nation and consider each other terrorists.

But my point today is that the common thread running through the teachings I listed is self-hatred. And as I asked rhetorically in that article, who but Satan would teach this? Satan is the author of lies at both extremes, not just one; it isn’t as if “you shall be as gods” is the only lie he ever told. Who else would be motivated to get people to devalue themselves and in turn devalue others, for whom Christ died?

Satan is the ultimate “binary”: there can be only masters and slaves, so people must be sorted into one box or the other. He cannot conceive of harmony or equality or peace through unity rather than conformity. And of course it’s no secret that he hates mankind more than we can imagine, and women especially so (the “enmity” between the serpent and the woman). So who is it that craves hierarchy, control, suppression of free thought and conscience?

Therefore, any teaching of hating ourselves is a teaching from Satan, just as surely as teaching that there is no God over us is from Satan. The God who counts the hairs on our heads, who died for us, who teaches humility without debasement and honor without pride, must no longer be slandered by deluded preachers and authors telling us that God hates us and that our only hope is to bow to our betters.

Likewise, we must not fall for the lie that God cares nothing for justice. As I’ve said often, there is no love for the victims if their attackers/rulers/controllers are not paid back for what they’ve done. The depths of evil some people engage in defies our capacity to grasp, such that the only possible end for such demonic monsters is eternal hell. How can anyone with a heart not feel eternal rage against child molesters, rapists, torturers? How can they ever make amends for what they’ve done? Jesus did indeed pay the price, but that is precisely why those who reject him are all the more despicable. It is they, if anyone, who waste the blood of Christ (Heb. 10:29). Remember that the Jesus who told us to love one another is the same Jesus who said that those who cause others to sin will wish they had never been born (Luke 17:1-2).

I pity the victims of mind control of any form, and believe that they are no more responsible for their spiritual state than babies or the mentally infirm. I’ve seen videos and documentation that shows many entertainers to be victims of such torment to one degree or another; some notable examples are Whitney Houston (link, scroll down) and Michael Jackson (video, another video). Many who blog about Christianity mercilessly vilify these people without having done any investigation, and they will be held to account by God.

On the other hand, the ones who abuse and control must be held to account, not only on Judgment Day but here and now, to the best of our ability. Denial is injustice and cold-blooded indifference to the suffering of many. Failure to speak out is complicity in the crimes of these abusers. And for Christians, that must include speaking out against any teaching of self-hatred, be it Calvinism or clergy/laity or gender/racial supremacism.

Have you been told, directly or indirectly, that you’re nothing or that God hates you? You are the victim of Satan’s abuse through willing agents. Don’t believe the lies, but instead remember that Jesus died for you-- in spite of Calvinists who say that he probably didn’t.


On a personal note: Lately I’ve been struggling with these very thoughts of self-doubt, not over one or two recent events but a lifetime of them. Being outside of a thousand boxes clearly does not build up one’s self-esteem. But I must remind myself that neither does it make the opinions and treatment from others valid or accurate. I can’t make myself compromise on core principles just to alleviate loneliness or feel like a viable part in the Body of Christ. Yet neither must I allow the negative messages to destroy me. My task now is to tune them out without completely covering my ears.